Tsurreal: Prices may go down more than 15%

So a new Fitch report says real estate prices in Vancouver are overvalued by 26%.

They expect prices to drop about 15% in the next few years.

Somewhat suprisingly Tsur Sommerville agrees, prices are coming down and it all depends on interest rates:

“A lot depends on where interest rates go over the next few years,” explains Sommerville. “[If] interest rates three, four, five years from now are substantially higher than what they are now then housing prices will correct.”

Sommerville adds local home values could drop even more than the 15 per cent predicted by Fitch.

“If there was to be a correction, you might expect to see a bigger correction in house prices than in condos,” he explains.

So why would anyone buy now?

Well there’s this:

“One thing that I find striking, though is that [with] current interest rates prices, make some sense, when compared to rents,”

Some sense? Ok, sure, but what kind of sense? Good sense, common sense or non-sense?

I’m sure you can find your own examples, but a quick scan of craigslist will give you real easy rent / purchase comparisons.

Here’s one for the Hudson downtown, a two level loft.

Buy it for $610,000 or rent it (a slightly larger version) for $2300 / month.

A quick mortgage calculator says 5% down (You’re not using that $30k for anything else are you?) at 2.99% rate leaves you with a monthly payment of $2,829 without maintenance, strata, etc.

So some sense? Sure, but maybe not good sense.

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Short'em High

@anon#109 Says: “Knob.” Really? LOL! Are you a landlord? You sound perturbed and worried about losing a vital means of rejecting the ones you “don’t like”. Is what I said going to make your process less convenient? So sorry. If what I’m saying is wrong, posting the exact words from BCRTO should be enough to make your case, right? Unfortunately for “King Landlord”, the exact words are EXTREMELY specific regarding valid reasons for you to have an applicant’s SIN. More importantly, those reasons are not reasonable if secure identification and tangible proof of legitimate income/assets are presented. Some background. At one point I owned properties that I rented out and sought a rental apartment for myself for various reasons. At that time I was perturbed by the stupid questions and disbelief about my situation by prospective landlords. These were questions… Read more »


Short’em High Says: “I am not ashamed to provide good advice”

You are not providing advice. You are providing bogus information and interpretation of very clear regulations. Knob.

Short'em High

Here are few more tips before seeking remedy with BCRTO.

It is always a good idea to record entire conversations with landlord during the application process. This is a basic right in Canada. Under all circumstances it is legal to record your own conversations.

When presented with standardized forms, ask plenty of questions while recording audio. Remember to ask which fields are mandatory and what other applicants typically present when asked to disclose vital financial information that they don’t want disclosed/copied subsequently from landlord files without consent.

Later if you think something is fishy have a friend or colleague apply for the same suite, record the process, and see if they get the same answers.

Short'em High

@anon#105 Says: “If the person does not consent…landlord may choose not to enter into a tenancy agreement with that person” Provided landlord does so on an equal basis, eg: not selectively (aka discriminatorily based on other reasons stated or implied), then it is legal. So, if an applicant has any reason to believe they are being subject to financial disclosure scrutiny/exposure in excess of other applicants, they have a case for remedy with the BCRTO. At the time of application tenant is entitled to ask for surety of privacy controls and credible proof of compliance with privacy regulations and destruction schedule. My landlord has no copies of any credit report or tax identification number from me. At the time of application information was provided eyes only, no notes, and no photocopies. If that’s not good enough, it is discriminatory. Landlord… Read more »


Short’em High:

You need to think before posting. Telling people that ‘asserting credit check would also be discriminatory’ clearly gives people incorrect information and may prevent them from renting a place. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Short’em High Says: “WRONG. Asserting credit check would also be discriminatory. ” I always love people who give advice on stuff they have nor clue about. I can only assume you have a low income and crappy credit. Here are the actual rules; http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/content/rightsresponsibilities/entering.aspx#114 Can a landlord ask for credit information? The BC Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act allows a landlord to obtain a credit report for a person entering into or renewing a tenancy agreement, with the tenant’s written consent. If the person does not consent to the landlord obtaining a credit report, the landlord may choose not to enter into a tenancy agreement with that person. Can a landlord ask for the tenant’s Social Insurance Number? A landlord may ask a tenant for his or her social insurance number if a social insurance number is necessary to… Read more »

Short'em High

Anonymous(#103) Says: “That statement does say or imply a landlord cannot verify income or credit”

WRONG. Asserting credit check would also be discriminatory. The landlord is not extending credit and he is not a lender. Landlord is probably not tenant’s employer either, so asserting SIN is discriminatory.

The law says that it is reasonable ONLY that the landlord has assurance that rent will payed on schedule and NOT from the proceeds of crime.

Thus by law, landlord only needs to see reasonable proof that a tenant has lawful financial means to meet obligations and MUST NOT infer that tenant intends to break the contract because landlord doesn’t like tenant’s credit score, lawful occupation, skin color, etc, whatever.

Being a landlord is a serious commitment in BC if you consult the regulations.


Short’em High Says: “The BCOAMA form is arguably discriminatory: a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on the tenant’s income, as long as the source of income is legal. This means, for example, that a tenant cannot be discriminated against if the rent is paid with an income assistance cheque.” That statement does say or imply a landlord cannot verify income or credit. It only states they cannot refuse to rent to someone because their income source is social assistance. Personally I like the idea of presenting verified income and a credit score when you view the place because it will put you in a better position to negotiate a better rental rate or move you to the top of the list if it is already a competitive rate. Telling the landlord they are being discriminatory for… Read more »


I unfortunately did not record the price change #s in my spreadsheet (Which only cover 2011-12).

I believe one or two people here might have though (I remember seeing an analysis of price changes a while ago here).

over at the forum I believe we have some historical daily sale/list data, but since the latest forum refresh couple months ago, much of those were lost…

Perhaps someone who has been tracking the price-changes data can help out…

Short'em High

Says: Globe & Mail: “Is it time to short Canadian banks? ”

To the extent that US banks and Canadian banks are in the **exact** same business, then short Canadian and long US banks is a great pairs trade.

, since you have the data, what are your thoughts on the top 10 paulb change days? And top 10 change/new days? See my earlier post on why this is interesting.


Globe & Mail: “Is it time to short Canadian banks? ”
Mar. 07 2013

” if investors really want to take advantage of this trend, he recommends going “long” U.S. banks while short-selling (or betting against) Canadian banks. In fact, he calls this one of his favourite trades.”

“U.S. banks do seem to have a lot of upside if their financial health returns and the U.S. housing market continues to improve. Canadian banks, though, are facing a potentially tough environment, with a creaking housing market and signs of a deteriorating economy.”

Short'em High

@98 Says: “[small drops from unreasonable starting price]… what does that tell us?”

Depending which one of the three, they will be at a reasonable price after 24 or 12 months at present rate of discounting per month. Not very interesting, but now think about this.

Is there any point during the 2009 bounce (or any other time), when the number of PaulB listing changes spiked up? The relevant question: Is it possible to see in the daily price change count, any points where sellers’ opportunity cost for delisting exceeded the cost of simply lowering the price of the existing listing? By opportunity cost I mean the seller’s perceived cost as measured by different behaviour, not the administrative cost.

For those with the PaulB data, when were the top 10 or so largest listing change days?


Other than the fact that some people start with unreasonable asking prices, what does that tell us?


$100k price drops seem to be the standard in Van West (and lots of 8s):

456 38TH AVE W
Feb 19/13 $1,788,000
Current Price $1,688,000
2012 Assessment $1,669,700

Jan 18/13 $2,498,000
Current Price $2,398,000
2012 Assessment $2,274,500

Jan 13/13 $2,488,000
Current Price $2,399,888
2012 Assessment $1,735,000 (still in construction)

Short'em High

#94 Says: “Actually, what you have to lose is the relationship with the landlord”

Good grief! The relationship you want to have with your landlord is that they know you are legit, will pay, and will not be a “doormat” when it comes to landlord’s part of the agreement.

I’ve seen that BCAOMA form and it is designed mainly as a psychological tool for landlord to assert control over tenant/applicant in future dealings as the beaten and pacified tenant. The only thing to remember here is that tenant pays the landlord good money every month. Once that part is established as factual, the rest is on the landlord!

Short'em High

@Many Franks Says: Benjamin Tal referred this week to “bubble fatigue,”

If Tal operates his fund this way – by getting bored/fatigued/etc and then putting on stupid bets, investors ought to steer clear the funds that Tal operates for CIBC.

When Tal pops his head up next time on a call in show, somebody should call in and shoot him with his own shit. Ask if “getting fatigued” is the criteria he uses as a money manager and then ask why he thinks the biggest purchase most people ever make should also be decided so recklessly.



Actually, what you have to lose is the relationship with the landlord which I would argue is very important while renting. The landlord may feel obligated to give you the apartment due to the threat of the case, but will make your life miserable. It simply isn’t worth the time or effort.

Ask the landlord if he will accept alternatives to the BCAOMA and if not, find greener pastures.


with “Buyer Fatigue”, comes “Realtor Empty Open-House Fatigue” and “Seller Capitulation” ; )



When I was looking for my place, I retrieved my own credit report online, printed it out, and gave to to prospective landlords. That way, they can see your credit history, but you don’t have to show them any data that you would rather keep private.

Short'em High

@Patiently Waiting Re: rental applications. The BCOAMA form is arguably discriminatory. See: http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/content/rightsresponsibilities/discrimination.aspx “A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on the tenant’s income, as long as the source of income is legal. This means, for example, that a tenant cannot be discriminated against if the rent is paid with an income assistance cheque.” Unless you are employed by or receive income from your landlord, he has no legal right to know your SIN. Requiring a SIN for tenancy is discriminatory if you otherwise have proof of identity and proof of legal means to pay for the rent for the lease term. So, you could show them a bank statement or disclose account numbers that would pay for a year or more rent then read them the riot act from the RTO regulations on discrimination. A passport… Read more »

Manna from heaven

Patiently waiting

I present a redacted print out of my trading accounts. This usually satisfies them but almost always leads them to worryingly ask “you’re not thinking of buying are you?” I love telling them that they don’t have to worry about me leaving until owning costs the same as renting, or when prices drop 50%.

Many Franks

This new “bubble fatigue” meme is really irritating — it seems to have come from Ben Tal: CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal referred this week to “bubble fatigue,” by which he meant that potential buyers have been hearing “bubble” for so long that they may be starting to ignore it. The G&M at least is playing this line repeatedly. Happily I found a precedent from the States circa 2005: Housing Sector Looking for Signs of Bubble Fatigue Bubble or not, the U.S. housing market has stayed afloat at a high altitude for the past two years. So what do experts look for as the first signs of fatigue in a frothy housing market? Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com (search), said it won’t be buyers who will disappear. Instead, he believes disgruntled sellers will bring the market to a… Read more »

Patiently Waiting

We’re looking for a new apartment. Its a lot of fun, but I’m getting frustrated with all the information required for credit checks. I worked in banking many years ago, and a couple of times helped people untangle the mess after their identity was stolen.

At least half the landlords are handing out the BCAOMA form which asks for your SIN and birthdate. Frustratingly, its some of the most desirable apartments. I just don’t know about this. Maybe offer some other way to reassure them of our financial status (my credit rating is immaculate).

Any ideas?


….I don’t get this going to a realtor for advise on a good time to buy. That would be like going to Future Shop and asking if they think you need a new TV or not…

That’s my point. The original poster suggested an good realtor will give you an honest assessment of market. I call BS on that statement.